Chicago's 11 Seasons Through Beautiful Photography

The 11 Seasons Chicago Endures While The Rest Of The World Whines About 4

Get ready for mud season.

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As we all know, Chicago has more than four seasons. It has 11 seasons interspersed with the regular four seasons people in other cities across the country experience.

1. Winter

The official winter lasts from roughly mid-December to the end of January. During this time we see a significant amount of snowfall, cold temperatures and short, gloomy days.

2. Fool's spring

At the start of February, we are tricked into warmer weather finally on its way during fool's spring. This season typically lasts a day to a couple of days and gets our hopes up. It's nice to see more sun, but don't let that fool you. It's still cold as heck outside.

3. Second winter

Following this, our hopes are crushed towards the middle of February with major snowfall and temperatures that plummet us back into the winter.

4. Spring of deception

Again, the weather decides to trick us into thinking spring is right around the corner between the end of February and the beginning of March. We are ready to be done with winter by now and just want the warm sun back!

5. Third winter

Yes, there are three winters in Chicago. No, this doesn't make me want to move. The fluctuating temperatures keep us on edge this time of year but, not to fret, winter is going to be back for at least a day. It just has to come in three parts.

6. Mud season

And this is where we find ourselves now. Get ready for a lot of rain, damp weather and overcast days ahead. This season usually lasts from mid-March, once it stops snowing and being freezing cold, until April. Though, it does come with some astounding photographic results, proving there's always a silver lining.

7. Actual spring

First, up congrats on surviving the winter! Actual spring lasts only a few days in April when the rain stops. We can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, actual spring is a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of Chicago's seasons.

8. Summer

Get ready for the complete opposite of a freezing winter: sweltering heat. There is virtually no time to adjust between winter and summer, and so our closets undergo a major overhaul in a single weekend. The warmer months last from May to August, but they are a major reprieve from the winter.

9. False fall

Usually a few days to a week at the end of August or beginning of September, we get a false sense of summer's end and a cooling off in temperatures.

10.  Second summer

But, like all the other times of the year, why would summer be any different? For roughly a week or two in September, we get a resurgence of summer and are allowed to bask in its glory one last time. It's important not to waste this week because winter is now around the corner.

11.  Actual fall

Probably my favorite season in Chicago, fall is a beautiful time of change and great weather. However, much like the other seasons, it can creep up in two seconds and throw us off our game.

Despite these constant changes, I wouldn't dream of anything else. The weather changes keep me on my toes and keep me looking forward to what the next day will bring.

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High School Summer Vs. College Summer

Summer isn't all fun and games anymore.
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Summer: the most wonderful time of the year. School’s out, obligations are at an all-time low, and life is simple. The only problem - I’m not in high school anymore. This naïve cupcake phase of life is now over, thanks to you, college. Now, free time is a foreign concept to myself along with my peers; summer's not all fun and games as it was in previous years.

School’s out? Ha, you THOUGHT.

What time is it? Summer (school) time! When the final bell rang on the last day of high school, we all jumped for joy and anticipated summer’s freedom filled with the luxurious free time that displaces class time. When you finished your last final in college, you might as well buy class materials for your nearly approaching summer semester. Unlike the good old high school days, summer marks the start for even more time to incorporate school: particularly, summer school. Here lie students who are retaking failed courses and/or those who are behind on classes and need to get ahead. School’s out, scream and shout? You got it all wrong, High School Musical.

Time to intern!

Not only is summer “break” a good time to take some extra classes, but it’s also a perfect time to intern. That’s right, no sleeping in ‘til noon! Don’t forget to set those alarms because college students have to be up and running to gain work experience for their future careers. College students sometimes even endure these long days without any pay, but you gotta do what you gotta do to lock in a post-college job at that ideal company. High school students: props to you if you intern over the summer, I just see it more often among college kids.

Work, work, work.

I had a summer job in high school, but I didn’t work nearly as much as I do now as a college student. Summer is the optimal time to stack up on dollar bills in your savings account. You need money for those ridiculously pricey textbooks (opened quite less often than you’d think), groceries, housing, spending money, and other miscellaneous college expenses. Yeah, you can always work doing the school year, but juggling that along with classes, extracurricular activities, and an eventful social life can be pretty exhausting. Also, it can deter you from getting decent grades (which is why you're in college in the first place).

Vacation? More like no-cation.

Ah, do I miss those summers where I’d be at the beach for weeks on end. With summer classes, a job, and an internship, vacation is just time I no longer have. You can’t just request time off from class, internships, and work! Other (and more important) matters demand your time and effort. If you're lucky, a quick, cheap weekend getaway is you're best bet.

Cover Image Credit: MediaCache

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Why Its Okay To Not Go Back To Your Hometown For The Summer

What you need this break is the right way to spend it.

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As the week of finals ends every college student begins to feel this sense of relief. It's the time of year that the sun is shining and outside adventures begin. Plans laying by the water with a cool drink begin to come true.

But for many students that are just ready to enjoy a very much deserved break, there's an overshadowing pressure. A pressure to spend summer, not in the college town that's become important to you, but to spend all your time in the hometown hours away.

Torn between your homesickness and the home you once lived and the new home you've finally settled into. But what's the right answer to how much time is spent in your hometown this summer.

Simply there is no clear answer. Each of us needs mentally, emotionally, and physically something different this summer break. Maybe weekends, one week, or the whole time is what you, personally need to enjoy this time off. But I encourage you to really think about what you need, and not feel pressured to do anything.

Invite your family to spend time with you in this new world of yours. Ask your friends from home to come to visit and meet your friends here in college. The road runs both ways, and if they love you they will spend time with you.

Your friends, job, and life you've built since you moved to college shouldn't have to be put on hold every summer. Never let yourself feel like you have to live a double life just to keep others happy.

But never forget there are more options out there. Those who care about you will understand that you need to refresh from school is an important aspect for your health.

Going home this summer would be great! But if you need to just chill at your apartment to be able to mentally refresh from the year then go for it! If you want to spend your summer back in the town you love with your friends and family you have missed so dearly, then awesome!

This is your summer. Take ahold of it. Use it for fun adventures, long laughs, unforgettable memories, and most importantly a much-deserved break.

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